Construction cost estimates
Construction cost estimates

Construction Cost Estimation: 6 Easy Tips to Improve Quantity Takeoffs


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There are many important aspects involved in the construction cost estimation process and quantity takeoffs are one of those. Speaking of this, it is used for small to huge complex projects in order to determine actual costs and to ensure that a project will remain profitable to the contractors. It directly has an involvement in the estimation of the real costs of construction projects aside from setting schedules in terms of materials purchasing.

Quantity takeoffs must be created precisely and correctly in order to improve the process of construction cost estimation. By doing so, it can definitely help teams to stay within the budget while preparing for unexpected scenarios and while optimizing workflows. What also helps the teams and contractors to efficiently optimize the flow of projects and always be prepared is the application of a construction schedule software at work. This cloud-based software and its advanced features certainly provide better project management and scheduling.

In this blog, we are going to discuss about what is quantity takeoff, its purpose, and several practical tips to improve it for much efficient construction cost estimation.

What are Quantity Takeoffs?


Firstly, let us dive in first into the basics of the pre-construction process which usually begins during the start of bidding. To understand it further in a simple way, a quantity takeoff is a standard list of the entire construction materials and it includes both prefabricated and raw elements of a project. The amount and quantity of every material that will be going to be sourced are straightly included in the list.

During the estimation process, takeoffs are consistently adjusted because in this way, the estimators will set the final price towards a certain project. They will be using the most precise and detailed information as much as possible. With estimates being certainly accurate, any contractors are more likely to become much prepared to meet scheduled timelines, manage tasks, and project budgets. Efficient management for project, resources, and crew are ultimately achieved using the best construction management software like Pro Crew Schedule. It is incredibly beneficial and useful in every construction phase from start to finish. All of its features guarantee success in any project.

Furthermore, on the other side, accurate estimations could also reduce construction waste that is considered as a considerable expense towards the entire construction industry globally.

Benefits of Improved Quantity Takeoffs


Improving the quantity takeoff for any projects can absolutely pay off considerably in the very long run. Below are the common benefits it provides:

  1. Save Time – time is a very limited resource in any construction project. Contractors have a hard time budgeting not just the given construction budget but also the time. When takeoffs are accurate and realistic at the same time, it definitely guarantees a more seamless construction planning process that will empower all teams in order to effectively meet ambitious deadlines. Additionally, apart from accurate takeoffs proven to save time, implementation of project scheduling management will also save time too. Scheduling of tasks, tracking and monitoring are done efficiently with this strategy being implemented.
  1. Increased Budget Certainty – for starters or newbies, progress for takeoffs can totally increase budget certainty as well as reducing the risks of inexact estimates. This list of inaccuracies are the main reason why projects are derailed where it could also cause unreasonable cost overruns.
  1. Build Trust – communication and trust are very crucial components of a construction project. Having more accurate quantity takeoffs, any team’s confidence and rapport will increasingly improve including also the relationships with clients and vendors. A construction crew management when implemented can also create a harmonious and collaborative environment to all members involved. Additionally, it definitely makes it easier to directly bridge in and to soon negotiate with other stakeholders in the future plans.


Improving Quantity Takeoffs in 6 Easy Tips


There are many essential steps that can absolutely excel in the accuracy and efficiency in the quantity takeoff process. Listed below are the 5 leading strategies that improve takeoffs.

  1. Prepare for a possibility of Worst-Case Scenarios to Offset

The cost for construction materials is believed to be constantly on high-rise. Critically speaking, the material costs could possibly fluctuate due to anything from the weather and also because of fueling pricing globally. Take note about the high costs of construction waste that are necessary to be accounted. It includes abrupt unexpected expenses such as recycling, tracking, storage, and permits for construction waste management. The quantity takeoffs that won’t account for the unexpected costs in very precise way can absolutely ruin schedules and profits.

By determining these areas and factors having the highest risks in terms of materials that surely rise on and on, one can absolutely prepare for any worst-case scenario with more accuracy and precision. In addition to this, scheduling planning should also be taken into consideration so that one can be extra prepared.

  1. Remove and Reduce Manual Processes

Actually, the way of inputting data specifically for quantity takeoffs can utterly be a solid barrier in terms of efficiency. When any of the estimators will use methods or strategies like Excel templates or spreadsheets whenever to calculate quantity takeoffs, there is a considerable increase of human errors and risks when inputting data. To resolve such issues, automation will be a great choice because it does help to eliminate any time-consuming processes that are directly involved with project planning.

When quantity takeoffs are being optimized using automation, all involved processes are likely to be more precise and easily calculated in just a fraction of time. With the application of technology in creating digital quantity takeoffs, it has considered an easy way to incorporate automation towards any processes. Technologies have become numerous nowadays and continuously emerging. One of the best used software application in the construction industry is project management software. It promotes real-time collaboration, cooperation, management between all crew members involved which is crucial to the development of a projects and its success.

  1. Prioritize Integrations

If not properly integrated towards other construction processes and even tools, there is a huge risk of losing any valuable data directly from the takeoffs. Always have the aim to integrate the quantity takeoffs as much as possible into numerous construction processes.

Start using the most and latest successful technologies and software. However, other than that, it is also equally important and necessary to get the latest updates of any builder trends presently. Team productivity and staying competitive in the industry are best achieved using this. However, don’t just stop there because there are a lot of takeoff solutions that are needed to be integrated with any of your existing systems and platforms. With this, it requires the teams to determine the processes executed in the work. Estimating programs and project management tools when being used and applied are proven to maximize work productivity and communication and the creation of takeoffs.

  1. Using of a Master Checklist

The top one piece of advice any estimators have offered is to utilize a checklist. This checklist accounts for any potential items that are included in a usual takeoff. It is omissions that are leading and a common cause of project overruns. It wasn’t even unusual for experienced pros to fully omit soft costs like permits, less-obvious costs like temporary power, and also touch-ups and landscaping. Always update the checklist on a regular basis in order to account for items that you might miss from the past.

  1. Optimize Workflows

Huge construction projects specifically have more takeoffs all because of how large the scope of the project. Thus, it only becomes so necessary to have improvements in the workflow of quantity takeoff before scaling up.

Everyone is able to work when having to use cloud-based tools in order to manage such matters. Cloud-based software, users are able to save tons of information real-time together with the edits made. In this way, speeding up the time is easier when conducting meetings and make document changes with lesser chances of miscommunication errors.

  1. Understand Materials Pricing, Products and Fluctuations

Material prices will change, thus, it is important to pay attention to all factors that are most likely affect the pricing during estimating costs.

  • Do you, by any chance, have particular delivery challenges?
  • Do you need the material or product faster than the normal turnaround time set by manufacturers?
  • Is the demand too high for a particular product or material?
  • Is the material or product custom?
  • Are there be any seasonal limitations that will dictate adjustments and logistics to price?

Furthermore, it is also a key factor to further understand material availability as well as potential scheduling delays that both produce cost implications if materials aren’t ordered on time. If products and materials are having a long lead time, consider it during bidding and always know that it is necessary to plan it accordingly during the construction.

Key Takeaways


When it comes to enhancing quantity takeoffs, consider always the much broader scope specifically on how these progresses fit into the long-term goals. Determine how much time and money you desirably expect to save when new technology and processes are applied in order to improve estimations. Having measurable data for backing up purposes, you can eventually start implementing the above-mentioned processes that absolutely help in setting up the project’s success from the very beginning.

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